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Botox Has Other Uses



Botulin injections for the facial muscles have been the new technique used in the BOTOX way of cosmetology. These relax the expression lines and make the person look younger, while this is done with a mild paralysis. Adding on, they are also used to understand the facial expressions of other people. A recent study in Italy by the SISSA scientists uses the same Botulin injections to study the expressions and emotions of others on our own bodies.

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Well no matter how strange that sounds, temporary paralysis of facial muscles that this toxin causes impairs our ability to capture the meaning of other people’s facial expressions.

The famous scientist who was applauded for his work, Baumeister believes that this concept has been originated from the age old scientific theory called EMBODIMENT. The basic idea behind this theory is to process the emotional information particularly the facial expressions of a person and reproducing the same emotions on our bodies. Very simple example is if we see someone sneezing, we sneeze too or if someone smiles and greets us, we reciprocate the same expression in the same manner. But if our facial expressions have been paralysed by BOTOX, then the process of understanding someone else’s expression also becomes a challenge.


Baumeister studied different subjects by assessing their emotions within two weeks of the BOTOX based treatment. He analyzed the patients before and after the treatment and compared it to the persons who have had no treatment at all. The effect of paralysis caused by the treatment was very obvious.

The negative effect was observed when the expressions were subtle. For very intense stimuli, although there was a definite tendency to perform worse, the difference was not significant. On the other hand, for “equivocal” stimuli that are more difficult to pick up, the effect of the paralysis was very strong.

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The research was able to take the assumption of the scientific theory of embodiment to understand the emotions broadly.  It also suggests that the negative influence of Botox may be manifest precisely in those situations in which this help could prove most useful. For instance, think of a normal conversation between two individuals, where mutual understanding is vital to ensure proper social interaction: failure to pick up on emotional nuances or sudden changes in the other person’s mood can make the difference between successful communication and communication breakdown.

Well, this was a preliminary study that used the concept of BOTOX to reciprocate emotions of another individual on oneself. It was a hypothetical study which gave certain results but the detailed study is yet to show its results on a large scale.

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